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Jessica Aber, Chris Kavanaugh confirmed as top federal prosecutors in Virginia

An American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Two federal prosecutors were confirmed by the Senate this past week to lead U.S. attorney’s offices in Virginia.

Jessica Aber has been confirmed as the next U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Chris Kavanaugh for the Western District.

Aber is deputy criminal chief in her office; she has prosecuted numerous fraud and child exploitation cases and was part of the team that convicted former governor Robert F. McDonnell of taking bribes. That verdict was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court.

Before joining the Justice Department, Aber was an associate at McGuireWoods and a law clerk for then-Magistrate Judge Hannah Lauck. She has also served as counsel to the assistant attorney general of the criminal division.

Kavanaugh is also an assistant U.S. attorney, serving as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general. He prosecuted the man who murdered a counterprotester during the 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, as well as four Blackwater guards involved in a massacre in Iraq.

“We were deeply impressed by their exceptional backgrounds,” Virginia’s Democratic senators, Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner, said in a statement.